It’s MIKE’s fourth project of the year which, following his rebirth inaugurated by his previous album, dives straight into a conflict. But the war that is mentioned in the title of the album is not a traditional large-scale conflict. Rather – it concerns the daily skirmishes that we all struggle with. MIKE’s resolve remains unchanged: he tries to surround himself with the right people and to chart paths in an often uprooted environment.
We find an impulsive side in his music, but this should not be mistaken for naivety; to release an album at the end of December from the edges of the music industry is a statement in itself. The slightly unfinished effect in his tracks is deliberate, as it is on Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt, a rapper with whom MIKE shares a collaborator (Navy Blue).
Despite occasional belligerent rhetoric in the lyrics, the tempo is often very slow. This is a music that hiccups, bringing an esoteric dimension to the artist’s fight. MIKE claims this mysticism, likening notions of destiny to a game of cards. But more than the sharpness of his words, it is his depiction of the apparent softness of the everyday that hits the mark. For MIKE, the pen is mightier than the sword.
MIKE – War In My Pen (2018)